Overview: Today we’re going to talk about bKash - The largest Fintech player in Bangladesh. We start with some background on Bangladesh, discuss bKash’s founding, growth & impact on Bangladesh's economy. We also discuss what other emerging markets can learn from the bKash story & end with our overall outlook. This episode was co-hosted with Shammi Quddus & recorded on May 16, 2021.
Companies discussed: bKash, CellBazaar, Money in Motion, Grameenphone, Grameen Bank, BRAC, BRAC Bank, Safaricom (M-Pesa), Nagad, Telenor, Gates Foundation, IFC (World Bank) & Alibaba (Ant Financial)
Business concepts discussed: Agency banking, ecosystem partnerships, microfinance expansion, Nonprofit fundraising, impact investing, Telco distribution & serial entrepreneurship
- (00:30) - Why are we talking about bKash and Bangladesh FinTech
- (04:40) - Bangladesh context and similarities to African countries
- (14:50) - Fintech context in Bangladesh before bKash in 2011
- (16:20) - Founder background - Kamal Quadir background, CellBazaar
- (22:05) - bKash background - Iqbal Quadir, Grameenphone, etc.
- (30:48) - bKash founding
- (47:18) - Fundraising - IFC , BMGF, Ant Financial
- (59:30) - Product & monetization strategy
- (1:22:22) - Impact of bKash on the tech sector and economy
- (1:23:56) - Bankole’s overall thoughts and outlook
- (1:36:26) - Olumide’s overall thoughts and outlook
- (1:42:20) - Shammi’s overall thoughts and outlook
- (1:50:41) - Recommendations and small wins
Olumide’s recommendations & small wins:
- Recommendation: Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life (by Nir Eyal) & Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger (by Peter Bevelin)
- Small win: Dinner with friends with a live band. Some chatting, some drinking & some dancing. Marvelous!
Bankole’s recommendations & small wins:
- Recommendation: Prescription Drug Commercials - why they are the way they are by Packy McCormick and Nikhil Krishnan
- Small win: Spending a week in New York
- Other content: M-Pesa rate card, FT Partners
Shammi’s recommendations & small wins:
- Recommendation: Fintech podcast 11fs.com/podcast
- Small win: Got my COVID vaccine! Vaccines for the win!
- Other content: Bangladesh Bank MFS guidelines, bKash gives a boost to the poor
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